Organizers of Coverings 2010 are offering tile and stone contractors and installers more than 40 educational sessions during the show (April 27-30, in Orlando, FL). Topics will range from how to boost profits in a challenging economy to the latest innovations in installation methods and materials.

The 2010 schedule spans a wide spectrum of subjects, with a particular focus on tactics and strategies contractors and installers can use to help to bolster their bottom line in the current economic environment. This year’s featured session, “The Seven Steps to Closing a Profitable Sale,” will offer techniques to help contractors and other industry professionals generate greater profits by differentiating their products in the marketplace, thus increasing gross margins in the process. The session, led by Bob Langdon, CPA and author of Managing Your Business for Profit, will commence the conference programming Tuesday morning, April 27. Later in the day, Langdon will also present “Inventory Management and Pricing Strategies,” a guide to growing personal wealth by achieving a higher return on investment.

Jim Olson, of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), a Coverings sponsor, will present, along with John Cox of Cox Tile, “The NTCA Reference Manual: A Look at the New Business Section of this Important Resource.” NTCA collaborated with Coverings in developing the conference schedule for this key industry segment. James Woelfel, technical committee chairman of the NTCA, will join Nyle Wadford, the association’s second vice president, to moderate “The NTCA Contractors Forum: Frequent Topics Commonly Shared Over the Internet,” which will examine the countless benefits of the internet for contractors, and key issues that are influencing the industry.

Returning to Coverings for the third year is the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) Certification Program, an intensive 4-1/2 day series for professional installers that includes hands-on skills testing and will yield the industry’s only standards-based accreditation. Enrollment for this program is limited; application to participate must be made to CTEF. However, for those who want to learn more about it and hear first-hand testimonials on the benefits of certification, plan on attending “It Pays to Be Certified.” CTEF executive director Scott Carothers will lead this session and be joined by several program graduates who will discuss their experiences.

“We're thrilled to again offer contractors and installers, and all of our attendees, high-quality, timely programming full of valuable lessons they can apply to their own businesses,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of client events for National Trade Productions, which manages and produces Coverings. “The conference sessions continue to be a standout element of Coverings, and we’re proud to present a program that reflects our ongoing investment in this singular facet of the show.”

The schedule features plenty of other topical sessions. As green issues continue to remain top-of-mind across the industry, the roster includes a variety of programming on the subject, such as “Green Residential Flooring Trends,” which will showcase the best new green flooring products; “Using Tile in Your Next Green Building Project,” a guide to understanding environmental ratings systems; and “Stone in Green Building: Moving the Stone Industry Towards Sustainability,” a three-hour “crash course” workshop. There are also plenty of “how-to” sessions delving into the latest dispatches from the installation and technology frontlines. Seminars like “Field Update: Large Format Tile Façade Systems,” “Recent Developments in Sound Reduction Membranes,” and “Exterior Stone Adhered Veneer Standards-An Industry Update” will arm attendees with the information they need to know to stay ahead of the curve in an increasingly competitive business environment.

Coverings is sponsored by ASCER (Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association of Spain), Confindustria Ceramica (Italian Association of Ceramics), Tile Council of North America (TCNA), Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), and National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA).

For more information on attending or exhibiting at Coverings 2010, visit or contact NTP, Coverings Show Management, at (703) 683-8500.